At 10:05 a.m. on New Year’s Day, I received a group text from one of my brothers and his wife, wishing the six people included in the text a happy new year, That started a string of replies as one by one, family members shared their New Year’s greetings–except one.
My brother who lives in Maui replied that we should “remember your poor brother in paradise that is 4/5 hours before you and a sinner so needs his sleep.” Yes, it was 10 a.m. in Chicago where most of my family lived, but it was 6 a.m. in Maui, where my youngest brother was awakened too soon following a late night of celebrating the coming new year.
Any of us who deal with multinational companies have to consider the physical location of the people who would receive any messages we create. Would recipients be excited about the information , or would they be annoyed at the “ding” from their email or text alert? The happy chirp that indicates “you’ve got mail!” doesn’t cause happiness when it arrived in the middle of night halfway around the world.
As simple as it can be to consider the physical location of message recipients, the more subtle challenge always is to consider their mental and emotional “zip codes.” One reason why important messages sometimes fail to connect with recipients is because the communicator doesn’t think enough about where the intended audience members “are at” emotionally. I’ve worked at large companies that either acquired another company or were acquired. Messages such as “Welcome to the Team,” and “We’re Working to become One Company” impact colleagues differently in an acquisition.
Change is stressful even when it is related to a typically pleasant event such as a wedding, birth of a child or purchase of a new home. Imagine the stress around a change that impacts your career and income.
Remember to check the timing of your messages to provide the best reception by your intended audience.